Claimants in caravans

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  • #33931
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    if they pay site rent and rent for the actual caravan itself, could they be classed as both LHA and non-LHA for the different elements if they claim under the new rules?

    A very interesting question from a delegate on a recent LHA course.

    #48240
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Reg 13C doesn’t seem to be very clear about this. LHA does not apply to:

    [i:54a33ccc30]”periodical payments of kind falling within regulation 12(1) (rent) which a person is liable to make in relation to a houseboat, caravan or mobile home which he occupies as his home”[/i:54a33ccc30]

    Are those words confined in the context to site rent/mooring fees only? If so, why is the Reg 12(1) cross-reference not more specific to subparagraphs (f) and (g)? If the cross-reference is to all payments in Reg 12(1) generally, as i think it must be, I would say that anyone who lives in that kind of acommodation will be LRR/CRR rather than LHA, even if they rent the actual caravan or boat from someone else, separately from the site/mooring rent. I think that reflects the policy intention – these types of accommodation are just not part of the same market as regular private tenants.

    #48241
    franklinj
    Participant

    Hello all

    I actually contacted the LHA team at the DWP to ask this very question. In brent we have a Council owned caravan site where the site fees are paid to the council and therefore obviously do not fall under the LHA umbrella. The site is very old now and all the caravans became un inhabitable last year and were replaced by a private company who now in addition to the council site fees charge rent on the new caravans – the tenants of the caravans now have ASTs paying a private rent to the private company and in addition also have their original site fee liability with the Local Authority. We therefore suspected that these claims may fall under the new LHA. The DWP however have confirmed they do not as they are classified as caravans and do not fall under the LHA. Currently we paid £250.00 per week in private rent on the caravan and a further £150.00 per week in site fees a lot of money! Would have been interesting if they had have fallen under LHA as all the famillies on site are travellers and have very large famillies consisting of up to 12 children in some cases! Hope this information is of some help. 🙄

    #94503
    Anonymous
    Guest

    £250 per week on a caravan!!! Crikey, I knew London was expensive but this sounds like Monopoly money.

    #48243
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    LOL Chris.

    Franklin – unfortunately a Tribunal may not see it as easy as DWP policy said its not LHA. For instance, can a AST be legitimately granted for a mobile home? It can for a fixed park home. £250 per week does sound extraordinary.

    #48244
    david kearney
    Participant

    BUMP
    does anyone know whether an assured shorthold tenancy can be granted for a mobile home. We have a county council owned site for which we have only ever paid ground rent in the past,

    a new tenant has now moved on with a rented caravan. We asked for the agreement and have been provided with a bog standard oyez AST with the landlord a large caravan retailer. Hard to imagine that you can have a AST in these circumstances, its not a static home and first thoughts were that this must be some kind of hire purchase scheme.

    Better not mention the ‘landlords’ name, but i would be interested to hear from anyone who has dealt with similar situations and whether any investigations were made into the nature of the rental agrerement.

    #94504
    Anonymous
    Guest

    The nature of the agreements in cases like this are:

    – the claimant pays a fee to the site owner (whether it is a local authority or some other owner). That fee entitles the claimant to occupy the plot and to put a caravan on it.

    – the claimant also pays “rent” to a private company for the use of a mobile home that they have supplied. The mobile home will not become the claimant’s property under the terms of this agreement. The caravan supplier is not a party to any contract with the site owner – it is the claimant who rents the plot.

    The agreement with the caravan supplier might be dressed up as an assured shorthold tenancy, but I cannot see how it is and I cannot see how the “rent” is really rent within the Reg 12(1) meaning. Rent proper in the housing sense means a payment in exchange for exclusive possession of land under a lease. In these cases, the caravan supplier is not granting possession of any land – they have no interest in the land at all. They are just hiring out an object or structure that the claimant chooses to place on the land. If he doesn’t pay, they can take the caravan back but they cannot throw the claimant off his plot.

    So if it is not true “rent”, is the payment to the caravan supplier any other kind of eligible rent under any part of Reg 12(1)? I would be happy to accept that it is a payment under a licence to occupy the dwelling. Commissioner Jacobs hinted at that in CH/0318/2005 (the narrowboat case):

    [quote:ace19bf3ac]6. The claimant lived on a narrow boat with his two daughters. He had a form of agreement that was called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, but the correct legal analysis is that he had a licence to occupy the boat.[/quote:ace19bf3ac].

    There is one further problem in these cases: if the eligible rent for the site fee falls to be calculated as a rebate under Reg 12B, while the charge for the caravan itself falls to be calculated as rent allowance under Reg 12C, it is not clear that the Regs support a hybrid maximum HB calculated under two different Regs at the same time. I know the DWP takes the view that this is not possible, so only one of the two amounts can be allowed in their view; I know that there is at least one case currently with Tribunal where the LA will be pushing for leave to be granted, whoever wins at Tribunal level, so that this point of law can be cleared up by Commissioners a.s.a.p.

    #94505
    david kearney
    Participant

    Thanks for the detailed reply Peter. Just to make sure i’ve got you right, is the upcoming tribunal case you refer to in relation to the mechanics of how these dual liability claims are calculated or whether they can be paid at all?.

    I can feel a trip to the retailer coming on, seems the most sensible way of getting to the bottom of the actual arrangement.

    #94506
    franklinj
    Participant

    Hi David

    Look at my post dated 19th December 2007 the query is the same as yours more or less – as you know the HB info forum has many ‘experts’ who provide their understanding of the regs but in our particular case ASTs have been provided for the caravans (or fixed park homes) and HB CAN be paid and they DO NOT fall under the LHA scheme (thankfully as this would attract all kinds of ‘landlord’ abuse). I checked it out with the DWP and as the regs CURRENTLY stand this info is correct – obviously it is likely that the DWP will do a complete U turn on this advice in the future but in short you can pay the dual liability partly as LANRA and partly ODRT. At the end of the day the occupant has to live in a caravan on his plot and if he is renting a caravan from a ‘landlord’ we should pay the HB accordingly and not as an LHA. Hope this helps. Jen

    #48248
    david kearney
    Participant

    Thanks Jen. Its tenant abuse i’m more concerned about, Reading through the boards it seems that this situation is quite common and payable as you describe. The odd thing is that we’ve not seen this before and i am certain that once approved the residents will all want in. I supose it will improve the look of the site if everyone gets a brand new van!

    #94507
    franklinj
    Participant

    Hi DAVE

    Yeh that’s basically what happened here in Brent one got one and then they all wanted one. We have a management company who maintain the Caravan site and the caravans on the behalf of the Council. The actual caravans were replaced by another company who are effectively the landlords and to whom the private ‘HB’ claim is paid – the other bit of the dual liability is paid to ourselves the Council as rent accounts were set up for the site fees – all very complicated and messy and a nightmare to assess on Iworld ‘cos you have to have 2 separate claims running for each part of the liability for the same person. Good luck with your claims!!! Jen

    #94508
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Jen, you might want to read this post and edit your post!

    https://hbinfo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13751

    #94509
    franklinj
    Participant

    Opps cheers Martin – tut tut that’ll teach me!

    #94510
    Anonymous
    Guest

    David – to answer your question, the issue in the case I have been involved in is whether two separate eligible rent calculations can be made under two different Regs at the same time, except in the circumstances prescribed by Reg 80(10) (treated as occupying two dwellings). WEhere Reg 80(10) does not apply, there seems to be nothing that allows the aggregation of two separately calculated eligible rents under Reg 12B and 12C, or Reg 12B and 12D, or Reg 12C and 12D as the case may be. The DWP’s position is that the Council must choose one of the two amounts. The Council in my case has chosen the higher, which is the “rent” or licence payment to the private supplier; HB has not been allowed on the plot fee payable to the Council.

    The Council in my case accepts that the licence payment for the hire of the caravan is eligible rent under Reg 12(1)(b) – the problem is allowing that and the site fees both at the same time.

    #94511
    Anonymous
    Guest

    As far as I am concerned they don’t come under LHA but are still referred to the rent officer.

    I have just checked this with virtually everyone, as we just had to assess the claims for hundreds of Caravans moved off the “Olympic site” in Hackney, and they have all needed referring to the rent service, and not been LHA.

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